Originally Posted by nate45
"... I believe tests and timed competition have shown that looking while inserting a magazine in a semi-auto, or speed loader in a revolver, is faster than trying to do it by feel. ..."
I'm not aware of any actual "testing", but I'd be willing to stipulate for purpose of discussion that it's probably
That somewhat begs a few other questions though. The first is whether the speed
of mag change is the most important thing in a self-defense encounter. It absolutely is
, in competition ... but then nothing in competition is ever shooting back, you know where everything is ahead of time, and it seldom changes outside of some very predictable cases with so-called "moving" targets.
I'd offer that speed is fairly important in an SD situation. But if we're talking about a few tenths of second difference or less, then maintaining situational awareness, breaking tunnel vision, etc. might possibly have a higher survival value.
Of course not all cases are the same. If you've shot to slide-lock and the fight has not ended, speed might be of paramount importance. If you're doing a top-off, maybe Clint Smith's advice holds true ... getting it right is more important than getting it fast.
The wider question is "what is the better default
behavior?", given a rational appraisal of what is likely vs. what is simply plausible or possible. I tend to think that training two different techniques (highly optimized for particular circumstances, and requiring a cognitive choice of which to employ) you'll end up doing neither especially well, and probably screwing it up as a result if it ever hits the fan.
Without claiming any general superiority, I'll simply note that my own preferred technique - the only one I train with - has the gun positioned near my line of sight, while I either keep my eyes on target or scan/assess. I don't "look at the gun" per se, but it's within my field of view.